Monday, 30 May 2011

I deserve to die

I should not be alive. i deserve to die. death is the only answer. i want to cut my arms open. i want to hang myself. i am a burden on the world. i drain the life from everyone i know. the world would be a better place without me in it.

Mad World - Gary Jules

Mad World lyrics
Songwriters: Orzabal, Roland;

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for the daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere

Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I wanna drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow

And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles its a very, very
Mad world, mad world

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy birthday, happy birthday
And I feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen, sit and listen

Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher tell me, what's my lesson?
Look right through me, look right through me

And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles its a very, very
Mad world, mad world, enlarging your world
Mad world

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Weezer - Island In The Sun (Spike Jonze Version)

This video won't fail to make you smile... unless you have a phobia of large cats, bears or gorillas.

Friday, 27 May 2011

A blog post by Pan

I would like to share something written by Pan, one of the child alters in me. I am not sure if Pan is a boy or a girl but he would like to be a boy so we call him: 'he' but who knows...

To give you a bit of background about Pan... Pan has some anger issues and used to be very upset by the notion of going to therapy and any of us talking to T. In the last year, he has been learning to trust T and has changed his mind about her altogether. He really really likes her now, although hasn't really properly met her. He would love to, but is also very scared about how that would go down with T. He has also been prevented from meeting her by me and my anxieties about how it would go down with T. After yesterday's session, Pan wrote the words below and I have typed them up to add to the blog. If you haven't read the last post yet, you might want to read it first as a background.

NB I haven't changed any words except for 'T' in place of our therapist's real name and 'Candycan' in place of my real name and I've put some line breaks in just to make it easier to read; I hope Pan won't mind...

"T says there is a special room for children and we can go in it next time at the session
and it might have a snakes and ladders on the floor
and the wall might be a funny colour
and it might have something others things in it like paints and things
and I can bring my teddie
and T is going to get a blanket in case Little C is shy and needs to hide to feel better.

I like this and want to see the new room
but I am nervous about it too
and Little C is very excited about meeting T but very scared too
but also Candycan is very scared and nervous
and T said we won't have any expectations.
But I am so excited about seeing the special room
and I really really hope I will get to play and meet T."

By Pan

I think Pan described it all pretty well.
How about that then?
I am feeling ambivalent about how it will go. I know the kids are REALLY excited about what this new room is going to be like but I just don't know if it will help me any in giving up the control and letting them be out. I think it's partly that I STILL don't fully trust T. Also, I guess it's embarrasment. I am very reserved and the thought of someone other than my husband seeing me with a child alter in control does embarrass me. I wish it didn't matter.

T was very good though in saying that we would just go to the room next week and see what it is like, without any expectations... just to see if the child parts feel more comfortable there. She made it clear, the 'no expectation' part; I think she emphasized this so that I don't feel pressure. That's a good thing because there is a large possibility that the child parts won't get to come out and meet T next week. I know they will be there wanting to, they always are; but I guess that the fears holding it all back might take more than a few minutes in a child's room. That's my thoughts anyway.

The kids are just over the moon about the idea of going to a special room just for them. My head and my body is a buzz... It's like waiting for Santa to arrive, in here. It's certainly giving me a spring in my step though so I am not complaining, despite my reservations!

Clinical Psychology Session: forcing me to talk about work issues

So, yesterday was T day again.

We were all muchly pleased to have a clinical psychology session this week, having had one last week. Normally I only go to T every other week (HATE that!) but as she is away next week she offered me an appointment early instead. I was glad to see that she did this after the meltdown that happened last time when she went away and tried to make it a three week break. She obviously must have realised that three weeks between sessions isn't an option!

Last week in the session, she made me talk about work. I REALLY didn't want to talk about work because I felt there was no point as all the stress can't be changed and I have no control over how horrible it is.

But she made me anyway.

She asked me a few times what I thought could be done to help me manage the stress of trying to do about four different people's jobs in one week. I got quite frustrated in the end and told her that if I knew what to do I would be doing it and that there was no point in talking about it because there was nothing that would help.

At this point she actually gave me some advice on things that I could do to help at work. I don't know about other therapists but in my experience, they don't usually offer advice. The consensus seems to be that you don't go there to be given the answers to your problems but rather to explore them together with someone who can help you to reflect and come to understand things better for yourself. Blurrgh!

The few times that my T has actually offered me some kind of ideas as to practical solutions to problems I am experiencing, they have been mostly, like a breath of fresh air and have surprised me too: finding there are solutions to problems that I thought couldn't be solved. I am a desperate pessimist. T is an eternal optimist.

The first time she ever really helped me with practical ideas, was when I was freaking out at an impending trip to a spa with family members, where I felt I would not be able to hide the scars on my legs from them. I had been stressing about it for months and had a great sense of impending doom about the whole trip.

For me, my family knowing about my DID or anything to do with my mental health issues would be one of the most humiliating things that could ever happen to me. I think it's because of the way I was brought up: where any kind of ill health or negative emotion was seen as a huge flaw. Actually, it was seen as sinful. You were made to feel like you were weak and those weaknesses could be used against you.

I remember how awful it was when my parents found out I was self harming as a child of twelve. I remember pleading with my teacher not to tell them and then the hours of interrogation afterwards and the awful embarrassment of being found out. To this day, I still want the ground to swallow me up if the words 'self harm' are mentioned when I'm in the presence of my family.

I thought that my fate for this holiday was a done deal: they would see my scars, ask me what had happened, I'd slowly die of shame and in the process get a patronising lecture about how I need to sort myself out.

To my immense surprise and relief, T came up with several super brilliant ideas about dealing with my scars that I never would have thought of in a million years: such as special body makeup to hide them or ideas as to what I could say about my wearing longs shorts etc. I could have hugged her at that moment. She even suggested that I might be able to get laser treatment through the NHS to help remove them so that I wouldn't have problems in future with this issue.

Thankfully, I don't think I will ever need to get laser treatment on my legs as they have faded down now quite well and you wouldn't see them unless you really looked or were in a very specific kind of light and saw the texture of the lines.

But I digress...

So yeah, last week she offered me advice on managing the stress at work. At the time I was thinking "these suggestions won't help!" but I thought about them afterwards and they were good ideas. Plus the process of just being made to acknowledge and talk about the work stresses made me realise that it is affecting my mood and burying my head in the sand isn't helping. I felt more motivated to take charge of my own destiny so to speak and have done a lot in the week since to help things.

ANYWAY... I am supposed to be telling you about YESTERDAY'S session! So yesterday, I went back and gave her some feedback about how I'd found it to be helpful talking about work last week. She admitted that she'd reflected on having given advice to me afterwards as she usually tries to avoid doing it and I got the feeling maybe she had been unsure as to wether she should have done that or not.

Once I told her how it had helped, she then got me to talk MORE about work and the problems I am having with being able to delegate work to people who can help (I hate asking other people to do things for me, even though I know that it is reasonable and necessary to do so). I REALLY didn't want to talk about work again this week. I guess I set myself up for it, tellng her that it was good that she had made me talk about it the week before. I think at one point yesterday I told her I was hating talking about it, but she didn't let me off. I felt so frustrated and anxious and wanted her to change the subject more than ANYTHING.

I think it's also hard for some of my alters to hear us talking about work, when they feel they are carrying around much larger burdens that they have been bursting to talk to her about for years now. It is important to be able to cope with the here and now parts of my life though and I think work has been making me really down so it was helpful. My new job is so much harder than my old job, but the pay doesn't reflect that. It makes me feel a bit shit.

After a while (like, nearly an hour?) though it was just too much, I just couldn't bear to talk about work anymore... especially once she started trying to do CBT with me (I HATE CBT!) so I kind of just stopped responding and sat staring at the floor with my heart going at a million beats per second and my hands fiddling about like a mad womans. I think eventually she got the message and asked me if there was anything else I wanted to talk about.

And so, I told her about the alters that are dying to talk to her and want me to let them come out in the session, but how I can't let them because of fears about how she might react and also because I find it so hard to give up the control of them in case of what they might say and about how I am so nervous of a child part coming out because they are not like me and wouldn't just sit on a chair like a grown up and I am scared about what they might do and so on. Every week between sessions I tell them they can come out and I want them to, but then we get to the session and I don't let them because I'm too scared and then I get so anxious because I spend most of the session trying to hold them in. And they are angry about this!

She was really understanding! Apparently, we have never talked about this, although I thought she knew what is going on inside me every week, but she said it was good to know that. In relation to the issue of my concerns about child parts coming out she had a suggestion for that too but I am not going to tell you it in this post...

Pan (a child part) wrote down what happened and what his feelings were about it, on some paper after we got home from the session yesterday. I think I will type it up as a separate blog entry and post it after this one.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Numbness is a smoke screen

Dear reader. For my standards, you haven't heard as much from me lately.

This is partly due to my having been really much busier than I ever like to be. Work has been hectic lately.

However, I think I'm also in a sort of depression, so that has been affecting things.

Now when I say 'depression' there are two varieties for me. One is the horrible sense of endless despair and 'downness' which strikes me from time to time. Generally if I feel this way, I am inclined to constantly write, either here or on paper and reflect and 'feel' and be hyper aware of the voices in my head. During these times I feel I just manage to hold on by my fingertips to some sense of normality between one session with my T and the next. During these times I feel so despairing and hopeless that I wish for death or complete insanity for some relief.

That's not how I'm feeling. The kind of depression I'm talking about is just a general 'lack' of everything. I lack energy, motivation, appetite, concentration, desire for doing anything whether fun or not. I lack positive feelings. I lack negative feelings. I lack interest in therapy; I lack insight into my alters goings ons. I also lack despair, misery, loneliness, pain. It's definitely an easier way to be than the despairing kind of depression but it is dangerous, I find.

Dangerous because being this way involves such a lack of insight and feeling that it is easy not to realise there is anything wrong. When I'm like this, I want to be alone, so I don't see anyone, so I feel fine. It's only when for some reason out of my control or because of obligation that I find myself in company, that I feel bad. When I say bad I mean, irritated, angry, impatient, drained, frustrated, squirming to be away, overstimulated.

I also notice that there is a problem when I go to therapy in this state. I have NO clue about what's going on with alters in this state. I struggle to see the point in my being there. T's questions aggravate me like a bear being woken mid hibernation. I feel angry and unsettled by her probing and want to just shut off and sit in silence. I suppose in a way, I am not really there when I feel this way. I feel like me, but just me, not a mixture of parts, but just a shell of a person. It's like all of my alters have gone on holiday and left a robot to do the main tasks. There just isn't the capacity for much else. Except the alters haven't left, so when T starts trying to talk to them and they are trying to have a break from reality, it provokes anger.

Alters? That seems like a joke. I don't have alters. It's just me knocking around in here. Just one, lifeless shell of a human.
What set this off? Is it just because work has been so hard lately that there is no physical energy left for coping with my mental health issues so I have shut them all out in order to continue functioning? That sounds feasable, I think it's more than that though.

This way of being is very dangerous. The lack of emotion and awareness is just a smoke screen for the darkest most desolate kind of pain ever felt by one so well hidden, I can only glimpse the pain that surrounds her. It's when she stirs that the numbness begins. Being numb is the only way of keeping us all separate from her and everything she is and knows and wants to say.

Being numb is dangerous because she is there anyway, I just forget that. It only takes a little trigger then and she is out and my world is ending. That's why when I'm in this state of not feeling anything, it is the time when I am most likely to physically hurt myself. That's why I found myself so close to self harming having not felt bad at all that day. The badness is still there. She wants out.

It's in this state that I may be just finished eating my dinner, sitting watching TV, on a normal evening and then in a split second have the urge to slash my wrists open. Yesterday I went into the bathroom to get dressed and took off my robe. I went to hang it up on a hook and found myself hypothesizing about whether I could hang myself successfully from that hook. I felt close to trying it out just to see if I could. I thought the better of it and carried on with what I was doing and then went on my way, not thinking about it again until now.

The fact that I have written about this state is a good thing. It's either me moving out of it, or its a brief moment of insight. I hope it's the former because I have a session with T on thursday and I really want to be able to make the most of my sessions.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Post therapy knackers

Cheekers that was a tough session today! It was one of those ones where 90% of the time seemed to be in silence. Her looking at me expectantly and me feeling very awkward and not knowing what to say. I'm never sure if she does that on purpose... decides that she will let me run the session where usually she takes the lead in what we talk about. Is it her being different or is it me? I just am not sure. I said at one point: "I must be very frustrating to work with..." She didn't make any response to that so I guess that means I am!
I find that if a session is hard (which seems to be most of the time lately) I feel very physically and mentally exhausted afterwards. I find my body very achey in the evening afterwards, especially in my back and legs. It's like a fluey ache. It seems to take a lot out of me.
That's about all I have to say today. Possibly shortest post ever!

Monday, 16 May 2011

(Part 2) Clinical Psychology Session: how the moderator feels

So to get back to the post I never got finishing...

If you haven't read it yet, check out the part 1 of this post a few posts back (sorry, I haven't figured out how to put in a link yet!). T made a suggestion that she felt would take the pressure off the part that controls and moderates and decides who gets what internally.

Basically, I think she was saying that we should imagine a person who could do all of this for us. She said it could be someone on TV, someone I know who I think is a good leader/fair/negotiator or someone made up; whoever I wanted. She suggested that this person act as the one to make the decisions and that this would take the pressure off that part.

Now, this caused an internal uproar, so much so that I fear the description I have given you of her suggestion, may not exactly be what she was saying because the uproar started so early on that I was struggling to hear her and focus on what she was trying to say.

On reflection, the uproar was for more than one reason.

Firstly and possibly mainly, when she suggested this, I felt the implication was that I should make up another alter. What I heard was "You've already made up all of those parts so why not just create another alter to do the job for you?". I don't think that's what she was actually saying but that's what it seemed like to my possibly oversensitive mind. The implication of this is that DID is just my imagination running overtime, or worse, that I am making it all up for attention. I have read that people with DID are usually more hypnotiseable and imaginative/able to imagine things (I don't know where I read that or if it's true, but I don't feel I am like that). I felt like she was trying to play on this and get me to create other parts. I also felt like it implied that my alters aren't real and none of us were happy about that.

I tried to explain this to her and she tried to reassure me that this is not what she was suggesting, but I am still struggling to really understand what she WAS suggesting. She said it would be someone 'external' where my parts are internal and not made up.

My second issue was that I couldn't understand how imagining someone who would take on the job of moderating/deciding things, would make life any easier. If it's imaginary, it would still require some part of me to think: "What would Mr Moderator decide?" and then to come to that conclusion, which would probably be based on what the part thinking about this feels is the most reasonable decision. Therefore, indirectly, it would still be that part deciding it, because the decision would be based on their bias and reasoning, would it not? So I just couldn't see how this would actually work.

Thirdly, and I'm sure T would say most importantly (I am undecided as to the ranking of this one), I think part of the reaction was the part who this is all about (IE Mrs Moderator: the part of me that makes the decisions and runs things) is pretty freaked out by the idea of letting someone else be in control. I think she feels that internally, there is no one better suited to the job. She knows that others wouldn't be as reasonable and the thought of not being in control brings the fear of what will go wrong... and what might happen: who will come out and what will they say and how will people react. These are reasonable fears.

These are the fears.

On reflection, they still seem valid, well the first one maybe not so much as T did her best to reassure me. When I told her that it seemed like she was implying my parts weren't real, she commented on how I was quite defensive of them even though I sometimes doubt their existence.
I told her that sometimes I wonder if she believes it or thinks I'm making things up and she said: "Yet all I do is talk about your parts with you."
I sensed she was a bit affronted by my accusation when she said this. I explained that when I sometimes don't believe it myself, it's not surprising that I would doubt that others believe it. She nodded and seemed to accept that.
I asked her then: "Do you believe it's real?"
She said: "I do"
I said: "I will try to remember that next time I'm worrying about it." And I will. I will try to remember that. It helps to know she believes and I'm glad I asked. Somehow I think I may need to be told a few more times though. Knowledge is fickle.

With regards to the 'suggestion' though: this is something I can't conclude on. I am happy to try anything, but I feel confused about how I would actually go about doing this. I think I will need to ask for clarification. I just hope it doesn't upset things again.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Back from shopping

Phwew! That was a mammoth shopping trip! Well, having said that, I actually only went in about five clothes shops but averaged at an hour per shop and managed to come home with a truck load of stuff.

I'm not all that excited about the purchases, which mainly included loads of boring plain long sleeved tops (the tall section in Dorothy Perkins is to be no more so they were all reduced to £3. I thought I had better stock up!) and boring sensible shoes, a boring browny/beige cardi and boring trousers for work. I did however, buy one top that is super duper multicoloured patterns and I love it. I also impressed myself by buying some salmon coloured trousers in a more fitted cut than the usual baggy things I knock around in. They sound awful but actually look quite nice combined with the boring browny/beige cardi number and sandals and a scarf. Here's hoping I will have the confidence to wear them. I tend to buy 'fashionable' stuff that I think looks good on me but then don't wear it because I am too emabarrased to be seen wearing something different than the ugly frumpy clothes that scream: "Don't look at me!" Just in case someone actually does look at me. I don't want to be noticed! Conversely, if I was to wear something new and pretty and no-one said anything, I'd presume that it must look awful on me and then never wear it again! So it's a lose lose situation wearing anything different.


Ugh, hubbie is annoying me so much this evening. Gobbling his sandwhich in my ear and making disgusting eating noises. I feel like screaming at him to fuck off and I feel guilty at the same time for feeling annoyed.
I'm in such a bad mood this evening. Bad news for me because my mum is coming round shortly and she puts me in bad form at the best of time. Would it be rude if I just went to bed right now?

Anyway again....

I WILL tell you about my clinical psychology session soon! I am too tired now though :(

Clinical Psychology Session: how the moderator feels

I never really got round to telling you about my last clinical psychology session due to the unexpected invasion of my country with my father shortly after it; this kind of took up my attention and I haven't had much energy to be able to ponder on the session. But, as a rule, I try to reflect on each session before the next one as I know this is all part of the process of developing. I also know T will want to know what I thought about things on reflection.

So, there were two main things that I can remember from the session. The first was, talking about the part of me that feels the need to control all the other parts. This part was talking to her directly and is not rarely doing so in the sessions.

This part IS helpful in the main: she moderates the conversations and tries to keep order. If there are too many voices in my head at once, she will arrange a sort of forum where each person can have their say. She is also key to our appearance of being normal in everyday life, as she can control who's thoughts/opinions/words/actions make it from inside my head to outside ie being physically spoken or an action performed. In short, she controls who comes out and what 'I' say.

She also tries to keep the parts happy. She facilitates the children to have time to play. She tries to accomodate the needs of others. She tries to be impartial and keep balance. Importantly, she has probably got more of an insight into who is who inside me than others do.

The disadvantages though are, firstly, I don't think she is aware of EVERYONE and I'm not sure but this may be partly because she doesn't want to know, but I may be wrong about that. Secondly, I think there is some bias in her moderating, as much as she tries to be fair. It is much easier to allow a child part to have time to come out and play than to allow a lesbian, or someone bursting with anger and rage to come out to play.

During the sessions, she hears what people are saying inside and can narrate their opinions to T. She feels this is safer than giving up control and allowing parts to come out, partly because she is concerned about what they would do or say, partly because she doesn't really trust how T would react and partly because this is what she has always done and it is now just an instinct to hold them in.

The problem with 'narrating' is that she also edits. So T isn't getting a full picture of what is going on inside. If T asks how we feel about X. She might hear four different answers:
a) I don't give a fucking shit about X
b) I'm scared and want a hug
c) I feel angry with you T for bringing up topic X, you don't understand and I don't want to talk about it; or
d) I feel it is an important subject and one that has been the cause of a lot of hurt for me. It makes me feel upset.

Moderator lady, is then either going to pick only the least embarrassing answer to tell T, or sometimes, in her defence she will try to express all of the views but certainly won't 'narrate'; rather she will summarise by saying "One part feels angry, one part is scared..." etc. The latter method is probably better than the former, because at least all views are expressed. Ignoring parts that have more shocking or unexpected responses, probably doesn't really help progress and also, makes those parts angry.

ANYWAY... in the session, she was expressing to T that it is really hard for her to have to be in control all the time. She doesn't want to be in control but feels there is no one else who would do it well. She feels she can't win because she tries her best but no one is happy. The child parts get to spend so much time out at home that other parts, including herself, don't get a look in. The other parts are angry about this. Then, during the sessions, the child parts are angry because they feel they want to be able to talk directly to T and spend time with her and don't see why she and a few others are only ever the ones who get to talk to T.

(Aside: I don't know that T really identifies the difference when this part is in the session as opposed to other parts like 'function mode'. I think she can probably see a difference in the insight levels so maybe she does relate that. It's sometimes hard for even me to identify the differences as they are more subtle than the differences between them and a child part. Not sure if that makes sense!)

So anyway, moderator lady can't win. Parts are angry with her for editing and for not allowing them time in charge and all she ever does is try to help. She's pretty tired of this role.

So T made a suggestion as to how this could be change. It didn't go down too well and caused some very strong emotions.

Unfortunately, I will have to tell you about this in the next post because I have run out of time. Today I am going shopping for the first time in a very very long time. I used to absolutely LOVE shopping, but I just haven't done it in ages because I hate my body so much and don't feel I deserve to spend money on myself, plus just feel nothing looks good on me. Unfortunately I am now at the stage where my clothes are falling to bits on me and it's getting beyond a joke when you have to try to combine your jeans with a top long enough to prevent people seeing the huge whole in the crotch or when you have to make a mental note not to raise your arms when you're wearing this or that top so you don't flash your armpit holes at everyone. LOL

It's hard trying to find nice things to wear when you feel you look like Shrek and added to that, trying to find long sleeves when you tend to always be too warm anyway. Sigh. Wish us luck. I will write the rest soon.


Thank God for the Weekend

So happy to have made it to friday! Now for some sleep and head space...

Monday, 9 May 2011

The weekend: Confrontations with Pou and not bashing or slashing

Just a quick one today (or at least that's the plan) as I'm shattered and having done a full days work, spent most of the evening finishing off the paperwork from todays clinics and preparing for tomorrows! I shouldn't really have to do that. Technically I could do it all on Wednesday but I know by then I would have forgotten everything I talked about with the patients.

Anyway, enough about work! The weekend....

I did meet with Pou in the end. It was hard talking about what had happened. If you haven't read already, I was annoyed with her because she cancelled our plans to spend the day because her boyfriend invited her to see him instead. Plus it isn't the first time she's dropped me for something/one else and I had already been feeling very neglected.

She was trying to explain her 'side' of things ie why she spent the time with her boyfriend instead of me and how she thinks she is a good friend in general. I kept saying that I didn't know what to say because I don't know how I feel about it and can't decide what is a reasonable and logical way to feel. That propelled her into more explaining of the same things and doing so in a way where I could tell she wanted me to agree that what she did was reasonable, but I wasn't able to as my head was still full of mush.

It kind of went on and on like that except with her getting more and more upset and crying while I sat there with a blank expression, repeating that I didn't know how to feel, but feeling like I wanted to run out of the room and bash my head against a wall and cut my arms to shreds and scream and cry and then die.

In the end I said that maybe I just have too high expectations because I have so few friends and she has so many and that perhaps I am too oversensitive but that I'm not sure and could we just forget the whole thing.

So we agreed on that and then she kind of invited herself to my house for the evening, which I was OK with by that stage cos I was more in the 'social' zone. I do enjoy spending time with her.
Turned out she didn't last the night anyway because she's allergic to my cat and the antihistamines weren't doing it for her this time. I heard her leave in a taxi in the early morning. I can't say I wasn't relieved to not have to entertain her on Sunday.

Hubbie had a friend over which was alright. He's the only other person that knows about my DID apart from Pou, Mel and Hubbie. Hubbie told him for some reason, which I find a bit difficult to swallow but I understand why he told him. Anyway I suppose it should make things a bit easier from my end but I still instinctively feel the need to act normal and not let my craziness show, even in front of Pou etc. Sigh.

Anyway, it was OK having Hubbie's friend over cos we just had food and then they watched the football. I think the whole being forced into socialising thing was good for me actually because while they watched football I actually.... I feel this should have a drumroll to emphasize the amazingness of it.... OK ready.... I..... did some housework!!!! Ta da!

Yes, I actually had ENERGY and MOTIVATION and I put away all the clothes that were lying all over the floor in the dressing room. I also gathered up three washing baskets full of laundry and I also hoovered the upstairs! I was so pleased with myself for managing this after having been a useless lump of lard for the previous few weeks. The down side of doing housework though is that it makes me more aware of how filthy my house actually is. I think when I'm not keeping it clean, I start to ignore how gross it is and then I just don't notice it anymore and think it's not that bad. Once I clean a bit of it, I realise how I am only scratching the surface.

Anyway, that's just an update of my weekend. It wasn't so much a quick post, rather just written quickly therefore is probably going to be full of mistakes and not very readable so I guess it's not going to be an improvement on my usual ramblings. Well done if you made it to here!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

A head full of calories

Oh I don't know what to do with myself! So far today I have managed to have a shower and pick up a few things from the floor in the living room (really only scratching the surface of that one). It's twenty past four now and too late to go out to the shops, as originally planned with Hubbie. Now he has made plans to meet some of his friends and I've gone and texted Pou to see if she wants to meet up but I'm already regretting it. The thought of the mental energy that will be required to spend the evening with someone is overwhelming, never mind the fact that she is going to want to have a 'talk' about the fall out we had over her dumping me for her boyfriend and I still don't know how I feel about that.

My head has turned to mush and I don't know what to do. She's asking me if I want to go out somewhere or if she should come to mine. Really it would be so much easier for me energwise if she comes here but then she will probably stay over since we have already organised to go for Sunday lunch tomorrow and I think this will be too much psychologically. Why is spending time with people so exhausting?!

I'm annoyed with myself too that a large part of my anxieties just now are to do with the fact that if I am going out, I will be eating out and I am worried about all the calories I will then consume.

I lost some weight when I was away on my trip, probably from being more active. I don't know if that has triggered it or if it's my new job or just other stuff in my head but since getting back I've been really cutting down on food. I haven't been eating breakfast and was having about 2-300 calories at lunch and then a small dinner. This last week it has been getting worse. On thursday I had just a yogurt and a sandwhich the whole day and yesterday all I had was a few satsumas all day until dinner time. I have lost a stone now (14lb) which I am happy about but I'm not happy that I seem to be getting back into this unhealthy relationship with food. I've had eating disorders on and off since the age of about eleven or twelve and I don't want to go back there. I want to be able to eat healthily but I always either just want to eat all the time, making me put on weight, or end up starving myself and not eating even healthy things because somehow that's easier than putting the effort into preparing healthy meals. Or getting stuck between the two and making myself throw up when I overdo it. Why can't I just be moderate?

Friday, 6 May 2011

Daddy Issues

I'm holding on by my finger nails at the moment... to everything. I've made it to Friday evening and I just hope one weekend will be enough to muster up some strength to get through the next week.

Last weekend I had a dream about my father. I was in a house and I went into the kitchen and sat down at a dining table. My dad was sitting at the table opposite and I was very surprised to see him (seeing as he lives in England and I don't). My dad didn't really acknowledge me and I felt hurt. Normally the way I deal with my dad's lack of interest in me is to make the effort and be friendly to him; ask him questions and try to look pleased to see him again and chat as if I like him. But this time (maybe because in my dreams I have more balls than in real life) I thought to myself: "Why should I be friendly when he hasn't even acknowledged me? He's the father, I'm the daughter: I don't owe him anything. If he wants a relationship then he can make some effort." So I said without smiling: "I didn't expect to see you here." and I said no more.

I don't really know why I had this dream. I do dream about him sometimes, which seems natural as he has been probably one of the biggest causes of pain in my life and I still hold the grief of how he has hurt me, tucked away; almost out of reach. So the grief seeps into my dreams. Sometimes I'm back at home as a child and he is hurting me in the ways he did for many years. When I have to see him (on his annual visit of doom) I feel ill for weeks beforehand. Last time I saw him was November and as I mentioned recently, was the last time I properly cut myself and I still see the marks each day and am reminded of him and that day.

As I mentioned last time, a friend of the family died this week. I was able to get out of work to go to the funeral yesterday. I was glad to go but sorry that I hadn't seen the lady for so long before she died. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the church and my sister told me that my dad was there. As we walked into the church to find a seat I saw him looking over from the other side of the aisle. He wasn't looking at me, but at my sister. I waited for him to acknowledge me and eventually he made brief eye contact. He wasn't smiling; didn't look pleased to see me; he had the usual glare. I immediately found myself waving and smiling at him and his wife (hard to break the habit of a lifetime). I went and took my seat and the service commenced.

As the service progressed, I got to thinking about my dream, mostly marvelling at how huge a coincidence this was! My inner psychologist was trying to figure out how I could have subconsciously predicted this without realising. I had no idea he'd be flying over and that I'd see him this week. I had the dream before I even knew the lady was so ill. Another part of me was thinking about other premonitions I've had and wondering why I tend to get them during times when I've been dissociating more. But anyway, having had the dream and the time in the service to reflect, before actually having to speak to him, I was able to talk myself into a plan... I would not do what I always do. I would not try to act like everything is OK.

My father has shown pretty much no interest in me whatsoever since the day he told me he had never wanted children and that I was an adult now and could look after myself (not that I felt 'looked after' before). He has not sent me one birthday card (even though he's sent my sisters gifts) or acknowledged any of the birthday/Christmas/father's day cards I sent him (I've stopped doing that now...that was a huge step). I sent him a photo of my graduation and he never said if he received it or not. He never calls or emails. He's visited a few times, never tells me he's coming but then expects me to know and attend the stupid, fake, happy family get togethers (or maybe he's hoping I won't be there). He's never apologised for saying the hurtful things he said before he moved to England, but seems to expect that I would have gotten over them (the way my sisters seemed to do). Once he did text me the day after my birthday to say he'd had a reminder on his phone but hadn't been able to remember who 'Candycan' was. You don't forget your own daughter's name! He was obviously just trying to hurt me. Last time he visited, you may remember, he brought everyone gifts except for me. But more than any of that, the way he looks at me and speaks to me reeks of "I don't want to be speaking to you".

This was me, taking a step into the realms of: "I don't owe my father anything". I watched him, he came out of his aisle at the end of the service, stopped and ruffled my neice on the head, then walked on. I drove to the grave. When I got out of my car my sister was getting out of hers just in front of me and my father in front of her car had just parked too. He hugged my sister and then paused for a moment as though he was thinking about turning to walk to the grave without acknowledging me. I think he thought the better of it then because he said "Hello" and gave me a brief hug. I may have smiled politely... but not warmly. I said: "I didn't expect to see you here"... and I said no more.

As un-luck would have it, I had been asked by my sister to stay at her house and look after her kids that night. I had all my things in the car ready to go straight there after the funeral, but then she told me that she wasn't actually going to be leaving for work until later that night. I didn't really mind, until she invited my dad and his wife to join us for dinner. So I ended up spending the evening with them. It was hard to stick to my plan of not making it easy for him. I was polite and answered his questions (the whole two of them: "I hear you got a new job?" and "How's hubbie?") but I kept reminding myself inside that I don't need to care about what he thinks. Of course I still do care, maybe that will never change, but I think this was a step in the right direction.

My neice found some old family photos and I was looking throught them. My dad was less than interested in the pictures of me and my siblings but more than excited to find pictures of old pet dogs that he'd had at varioys times over the course of my childhood. He was excitedly telling his wife about each one as he found the pictures of them.I wasn't able to tell who some of the babies were in the photos so I asked him. I wasn't surprised that he couldn't tell me for many of them which of my siblings they were. For some of them he said: "That must have been so and so because those curtains were in such and such a house and you weren't born then".

There weren't many pictures of me. I already knew this. I am the youngest of four. I remember clearly being told at the age of three or four that I was a 'mistake' and that they had wanted me to be a boy. I think that by the time I was born, there wasn't much interest in taking photos of me.

My dad seemed uncomfortable as we looked at the old pictures but I reminded myself that I didn't need to care and perhaps even part of me felt pleased. Maybe it was guilt he was feeling.

I was interested to note that he seemed angry when he was looking at pictures of his own father. He talked about my Grandfather and said in a bitter tone that he is a person who: "would sooner show love to a complete stranger than someone in his own family." Funny how he can identify that in his own father but can't see that he's exactly the same (one reason on my list of why I should never have kids: would I be the same?).

Not long after we had eaten, my dad announced that they would need to make tracks (even though earlier he'd said they had no plans all evening). My sister asked how long they were staying for (until the weekend) and then asked: "Will we see you again then?" My dad replied: "Probably not." Funny isn't it, he left the country because and I quote, he had "nothing left here to stay for" yet he has three full days in the country and doesn't have time to see his family. Oh yeah, I forgot: we are part of the 'nothing left'.

Talking about my dad brings up bad feelings. There are a few positives in this story though. Firstly, I am glad I didn't know he was coming because the lack of knowledge spared me from feeling ill in suspense. Secondly, I did not collapse into the depths of despair and hurt myself after seeing him (granted it was only yesterday and I haven't had a minute to do so but I am hopeful I won't). This time I am thinking about how I regret that I have physical marks to remind me of him and that I am not going to give myself any more reason to remember him. This time I made steps in the right direction. The destination is 'letting go and realising that I don't have a dad who loves me and that it doesn't matter because I don't need one'. This time I am giving myself a pat on the back for coping with the encounter rather than destroying myself for being not good enough to deserve love.

Maybe there's hope for me yet.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

There are a lot of straws on my back just now

At this moment in time I am feeling so completely exhausted, more than I can describe: physically, mentally, emotionally.

Today I had a full day of clinics. That's eight hours of talking to patients. Last night I spent the whole evening revising a certain topic as well as I had a tricky patient on my list for today and prior to that, I was at a two hour session at clinical psychology, which I went to straight from a full days work. I've written all of that backwards but hopefully you can make sense of my opposite of chronological description of the last two days. My brain hasn't had time to process anything from my therapy session yesterday, nevermind just relax and not think about anything.

My 'friend' Pou that dumped me last week to spend time with her boyfriend, emailed me today to ask if I'm upset with her because I've been ignoring her texts. The problem is I just don't know which of my feelings about the situation are correct and I don't want to lie to her but I also don't want to confront her with an accusation if it's unreasonable. So I just ignored her. I don't have the mental energy for it and I feel bad about this.

I also heard that someone close to my family died yesterday. Tomorrow is the funeral and I don't even know if I'll get the time off work to go to it.

It's nearly 8pm and I'm starving but so tired I just want to get into bed and go to sleep. Yet at the same time, I don't want to sleep because that will take me quickly to tomorrow, when I'll have to get up and do it all over again. Maybe it's just because I'm so tired and I'm sure by tomorrow I'll be right as rain again but right now I feel...

like, did you ever feel so bad that you wished you could just completely go psychotic or lose your marbles altogether so that you wouldn't have to feel the weight of responsibility of your life anymore?

Right now the idea of sitting in a mental hospital drugged up to my eyeballs and mentally on a different planet seems like it would be a relief. At times like this I envy the people who are too mentally unwell to work (I know that this is naive and ungrateful and that I should be thankful that I can function at the level I'm at). I feel like I'm stuck in that horrible in between place where I am not ill enough to be off work, but not well enough to cope with the pressures of work well either.

I'm going to eat something now. Maybe things will seem better afterwards.


Monday, 2 May 2011

Intoducing you to Shan

Let me introduce Shan.

Shan is an alter who my husband would say is 'his favourite Candycan'.

This is probably mainly because Shan loves sex (and variety in it), has no inhibitions and lives life to the full with confidence and energy (pretty much the opposite of me!).

Shan is bisexual, although up until now, hasn't had a lot of experience with the ladies. This is something she is hoping will change in the future but really, I can't see how that would be compatible with a happy marriage but that's a debate for another time.

Shan sees herself quite differently than I see myself. I feel ugly, Shan feels sexy. I am introverted, she is extroverted. I think everyone hates me, Shan thinks everyone wants to fuck her... and she wants to fuck them too. Shan's full name (nickname: remember we are all 'Candycan') is Shandy but she's not so sure about this so we'll call her 'Shan' for now.

What does Shan wear? This surprises me a little because being that she thinks she's so sexy, you'd think she'd want to look sexy but in actual fact she often wouldn't bother with makeup (I guess why would she if she's already so hot?) and would be inclined to hang around in what I call my 'lesbian jeans' (they are baggy and have big pockets: cringe!) and a tartan shirt. She might be found wearing more seductive clothes but not regularly since Shan doesn't tend to be the one in charge when I go shopping, so the wardrobe options she has are limited. Maybe Candycan should be a bit more considerate and try to find some garments that Shan can express herself with. We might end up looking like mutton dressed as lamb though!

Shan would tend to have messy hair, she likes to scruff it all up as she thinks this adds to her 'wild' appeal. Hubbie certainly likes it.

Shan likes to swear, but tends not to in front of hubbie as he is a good boy and doesn't approve of such bad language. She also loves to dance.

Shan is a bit of a nympho really. She sees the appeal in everyone and would try to seduce a lamp post if there was no one else around. Shan thinks she could show my T a thing or too, which I find quite disturbing given that my T is a very proper middle aged lady. Shan is very proud of her rampant rabbit, (not that it gets used much!) but to her it represents something. I don't know what... maybe freedom or liberation or something feminist (lol).

Shan doesn't come out very much, unfortunately. Having Shan out is fun. Shan feels liberated and when she's about, so do I. But her visits are short and infrequent.

So that's Shan in a nutshell!

Shan wrote this poem which I don't think she would mind me sharing with you all. The poem makes me cringe but I don't want to deny what is, after all, part of the overall us. It's called 'Sparkling Love'...

Sparkling Love

I can bring you ecstacy
I will taste your thrill
You are not too old to learn
Take my diamond pill

Let yourself be open now
Holding not to pride
Soaring up to reach the sky
When I go inside

Think you now you know the heights
The waves of purest pleasure
But you've only had a sip
Until you've shared my treasure

When I hold you, fill you up
We will melt together
See the colours of my soul
In your mind forever

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Thoughts on self harming

I am not feeling down but I know something is wrong because I have stopped short of self harming a few times this week and this evening had some strong feelings of needing to purge after I ate. When things are good, I don't think about these things. In fact, I havent cut myself since last November-ish time. Thats five months. I havent made myself sick since December, or taken any laxatives either.

I feel disappointed in myself that I'm not a stable as I thought I was. I'm also disappointed that there is a part of me that feels relieved when I have these unhealthy urges. It is relieved that I am still crazy and that there is evidence that I should be in therapy after all. Was it just the change of being away all along that helped me to feel better? Now that I'm back in my normal life, is it all going to come back again?

I have braved wearing short sleeves a couple of time recently, when I've known I wont see anyone I know mainly, but even at work a couple of times when it was too warm. I think about attitudes I've heard expressed and worried that people will think I'm looking for attention if they see scars. This does make me anxious: I know some people think very little of people who self harm. But then part of me tells me we shouldnt care less about other peoples attitudes and just be comfortable. If its hot, why should I have to boil to death in my own sweat to save someones feelings of disapproval?

But also I think the scars have faded somewhat and they are located so that they hopefully aren't THAT obvious. Its only if I get cold or carry a bag that I need worry, then they tend to go dark purple where the blood goes into them. I still find it reassuring to see this happen. I am used now to the familiar criss cross pattern on my wrist and even though the scars are old, they remind me that I'm real and they still comfort me.

I don't like a certain three though that are on the under part of my forearm so that if I was standing with my back to you, you'd see them from behind. I remember the moment in which I made these ones; it was the night after I last saw my dad. I don't like these ones because they remind me of him. These ones will be with me a while longer yet, probably years if not forever.

I am not the part that usually writes the blog by the way, but you possibly can't tell that much from reading this.